Candi Staton has lived a lot of musical lives. She's been a child gospel singer, a '70s Southern soul hit-maker and then a disco queen. Six decades since she toured the gospel circuit with the Jewell Gospel Trio, Staton has released her 27th album, Life Happens. It includes songs tracked at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., where she'd once recorded "I'm Just a Prisoner."
"I look at this album as an anthology of my life," Staton says. "Each song tells a story of some of things I've endured and gone through and come out smelling like a rose. I thank God for that."
She has endured. Staton recently spoke with NPR's Melissa Block about her struggle with alcoholism, her chance to meet Mahalia Jackson as a young girl, and her personal philosophy: "I'm always ready for anything that comes my way. I'm ready for it." Hear their conversation at the audio link.